Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Things I learned in drivers ed.

I started writing this a few weeks ago. Summer is distracting.

Today is the six-month anniversary of me owning a car! In honour of Car's birthday, she is going to the garage to find out why her 'check engine' light is exposing itself. She has been driven about 40 kilometres and has gone through one third of a tank of gas.

Not really, but apparently I don't drive very much. However, the past month was record setting with Car creeping into Nova Scotia (her homeland), heading to the north eastern tip of the island, heading into Anne's Land, and getting lost/confused twice on the same day up Chelton/Crapaud/Summerside way (PEI = awkward road signs). I also drove downtown twice. In related news, Bicyclette is earning her some lovin' between my legs. In other related news, Lady Velo is not having nearly enough fun this summer. (Bicyclette = commuter, sexy hybrid bike, Lady Velo = zippy, sexier road bike.) I don't blame having a car for lack of bike love, I blame hyper-socialization and me saying yes to, basically, anything that won't get me pregnant, sent into space (I don't deal well with isolation), or cause a disruption in the space-time continuum.

All this driving and responsibility reminds me of drivers ed. The small, important things that some people might forget.
  • Go faster!/"Keep up with the flow of the traffic." - One of our drivers ed class took place on the Trans Canada Highway. One student would drive out to the Confederation Bridge, and the other student would drive back to Charlottetown. I honestly don't remember if I drove to the Bridge or back (I think back?) but I remember very clearly the driver instructor telling me to go faster. The curves of the roads were designed to be taken at the speed limit and higher, I didn't need to slow down. She also said, "This is probably the only time you will ever hear someone telling you to drive faster." She was wrong actually, my papa was telling me the same thing in slightly different words ("Keep up with the flow of the traffic!") when he was driving me to get my beginners licence photo taken. Then he rear ended someone. He exceeded the flow.
  • Who/what Jean Chretien really cares about. - Our in-class instructor was discussing the history of seatbelts laws and why they exist. He said, "You know what Jean Chretien [at the time Prime Minister] cares about if you slam directly into a telephone poll?" and my friend's older brother answered, "The telephone poll!" The instructor said Ellery was probably right, along with (the answer he was looking for) health care costs. I also agree Ellery was probably right. Bringing down a telephone poll causes phone line problems - this was 1998 so mobiles weren't common - and electricity problems. Given that it basically takes two people sneezing at the same time to put out the power in PEI, it is a rather valid concern.
  • No moose here! - One chapter of our book discussed dangers of driving in Canada, with our abundance of wild life. The in-class instructor paused as the book specifically mentioned moose and prancing deer. A very valid concern for much of Canada, but not for us. He said, "Well, I guess you should watch out for Clydesdale horses or something?" I laughed (along with everyone else) and couldn't help but picture a clydesdale in show, with his mane all done up, trotting fancily down the road neighing, "Good day, ma'am," as I passed on my penny-farthing. For those unfamiliar with the clydesdale, think of the Budweiser commercials. I've also attached this photo below. I have added a stick figure to help you get a scale of how big the horse is. The scale may be slightly off, but when I was four-years old, this is actually what it felt like. Horse = giant killing machine.

  • Blinkers! - You're supposed to signal when a passing lane ends to show that you're merging back into the single lane. A sign for other cars that the passing opportunity is over, and don't f-ing rear end me.
  • The chapter that actually tells you how to operate the machine/car. - We skipped this chapter. We probably shouldn't have, as my car knowledge was quite non-existent. I assumed my parents drove a standard because the shifty apparatus was between the two sweats, and not by the steering wheel like their previous car.
  • There is no such thing as an accident. - It's probably almost true. I'm sure 99.9% of car 'accidents' could be avoided if drivers paid attention more and drove properly, like they did in their drivers test so long ago.

With all these great lessons I learned from drivers ed, I am now a very competent driver. Although about six months after I got my licence I backed into another car in my drive-way. It was dark... and I was really excited because I was going out to buy a Halowe'en costume (a jedi... yes, I may had been a bit geeky). But my more so real accident was driving to school in grade 11 shortly after being licenced with Brother and a friend. I was KEEPING UP WITH THE FLOW OF THE TRAFFIC (just like my papa!) and rear ended someone. Just like my papa. Yay!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I was KEEPING UP WITH THE FLOW OF THE TRAFFIC (just like my papa!) and rear ended someone. Just like my papa. Yay!
Very ,very proud of you, daughter
Though I don't think we have driving skill problem, I think we may just get over excited about the possibility of having fun and embracing life.
(just the possibility of excitement is enough to rear-end a vehicle, but on the good side, what a nice suprise for the rear-endEE,, a story to tell,"some a-hol drove right into me today & he/she didnt seem all that upset they just seemed to be enjoying life & were quite excited about the crash)
Ha,ha,ha,ha as I write this
Reminds me when I drove into the ditch at Liptons, ah,, but thats another story.